Published: 17/05/2016

LGBTI rights are human rights: according to international human rights standards, every nation is obliged to protect all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans and intersex people (LGBTI) from torture, discrimination and violence. In the European Union, the European Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU provide for protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, safeguarding of the rights of minorities and a legal basis for the fight against discrimination.


It is a priority for the S&D Group in the European Parliament to advance these principles. LGBTI people should effectively enjoy the same rights, duties and opportunities as well as the same level of protection as any other person within the EU in all aspects of life.


In 2013 the Council adopted guidelines to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by LGBTI persons[1] in relations with third countries. However, the Council has not yet adopted any such document that concerns the situation within the European Union.


In December 2015, the European Commission published a "List of Actions to advance LGBTI Equality". This list is a good starting point but not the ambitious fully-fledged LGBTI equality strategy the S&D Group has requested for a longtime. S&D Group priorities were reflected most recently in the "Lunacek Report" which was adopted by the plenary in February 2014[2].


S&D Group now wants to see action: we are pushing for an ambitious EU legislative agenda that ensures equal rights and opportunities for all citizens and a proper transposition and implementation of EU legislation relevant for LGBTI rights. The S&D Group shall ensure consistency through its work also by using EP rules of procedures to advance LGBTI rights, especially in cases of hate speech and discrimination. Existing studies and reports show that the respect for human rights of LGBTI people, and the public’s support can be improved in many Member States (e.g FRA studies, Eurobarometer, etc).


[1] Adopted at Foreign Affairs Council meeting, Luxembourg, 24 June 2013

[2] "EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity" adopted on 4 February 2014 (A7-0009/0062)

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Related documents

Position paper
S&D position paper on LGBTI rights